Monday, August 5, 2013

The Ball and Chain

        “Jaime, what have you done?” God gasped as He entered the room.
I dropped the ball from my hands. It landed with a loud thud as I looked wide-eyed at God. “I don’t know!” I screeched back at Him. My eyes were drawn back to the menacing ball on the ground. Its shiny black surface reflected my horror; I traced the chain protruding from its side as it snaked its way to my chaffed ankle.
I felt God’s hands on my arms, rubbing sense and vitality back into me.
“Jaime,” He whispered.
I returned my gaze to His face, but it was washed out in my salty tears.
“Jaime,” He gently whispered again. “Are you alright?”
Shivers traversed my weakened body. My voice faltered as I spoke: “I don’t know why I did it. I don’t know what I was thinking. I don’t know . . .” The teary waves broke upon their sandy shores.
“Shhh.” God’s soothing arms engulfed me as I fell into His body. Warm peace radiated through my war-torn body, pushing consciousness away as it advanced.

The warmth tickled my toes and fingertips. I wiggled them, gaily; the warmth travelled up my limbs and to my inner organs. The beating of my heart filled my eardrums. I parted my lips and took a deep breath.
A large hand brushed my face. I slowly fluttered my eyes; God’s smile eclipsed my vision.
“Welcome back, sleeping beauty,” He said, endearingly.
I was still in His arms. Lazily, I flexed every stretchable part of my body. The pain in my stomach was gone. The dizziness in my head was gone. The ache in my arms was gone. The chaffing on my leg was—
I lurched forward to stare at my right leg. The skin appeared clear; no blackish bruises or bloodied rashes; only a vibrant, fleshy pink. All evidences of the chain were gone.
  “What did You do?” The words gushed forth of their own accord.
God pointed silently in front of Himself. My eyes followed His fingertip; off to my left. There, lying a few yards away from us, on the ground, was the ball and chain.
“I removed it,” God said, simply.
My face flushed. “Thank you,” I said, softly.
God brushed away the hair that I had let fall between the two of us. “What were you thinking, Jaime?”
“I couldn’t handle it.” My voice had dropped to a thin whisper.
“You couldn’t handle what? The freedom?”
I slowly nodded. “It seemed too good to be true.”
“Oh, my dear one, what do you mean?” God’s voice was saturated with barely suppressed pain.
“I didn’t think I could have all this. Surely, it is too much. Surely, You don’t want me to be this blessed. You really can’t have given me a new name.” Tears began to well in my eyes again.
“Oh, but I have given you a new name. I whispered it to you again earlier today. Why did you not listen?”
“I heard you. I just don’t understand. The name can’t fit.”
“Why not?”
“Because it is too good.”
“You think you are unworthy of it?”
“But it is yours.”
“How can I possibly claim it as my own? There are others so much more worthy of it than I am.”
“But, my dear, you don’t have to claim it. I have already given it to you. It is already yours. It has always been yours.”
“I cannot do it. I cannot be the woman that bears that name. It is too hard for me.”
“Jaime, look at me.” I turned my eyes to meet His own. “You are already that woman. You have always been that woman. You were that woman before it knit you in your mother’s womb. And I then knit that name onto your heart.” God picked me up and set me down in front of Him, His hands heavy on my shoulders. “Stop rejecting your identity, Jaime. You are Mine—Mine alone to name; and I will let no other name be branded onto your skin. Stop this pattern of looking into the mirror and then forgetting who you are the moment you walk away. I have set you free from your chains; do not put them back on again—do not hold your arm out to the brander of this world. I have called you to be more than this. Mine are not to live a life hidden in obscurity. Stop trying to be an ‘invisible star’ and begin living boldly—for Me.”

"I am your Healer, your Joy, your Lord. You bid Me, your Lord, come. Did you not know that I am here? With noiseless footfall I draw near to you.
Your hour of need is the moment of My Coming.
Could you know My Love, could you measure My Longing to help, you would know that I need no agonized pleading.
Your need is My Calling."
--God Calling

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